Passage of the Digital Services Act (DDG): eco Association Emphasises Significance for Companies and Consumers, But Criticises the Blocking of Internet Content

The German Bundestag passed the German Digital Services Act (DDG) yesterday, Thursday 21 March 2024. The DDG transposes the Digital Services Act (DSA) adopted at EU level into German law and creates competences in Germany. As the leading industry association, eco – Association of the Internet Industry advocates for clear framework conditions that form the basis for a coherent single market for digital services and guarantee legal certainty for companies and consumers. The association takes a critical view of the fact that legislators are sticking to the blocking of Internet content provided for in the German Telemedia Act (TMG).

The DDG, which will be adopted around a month after the DSA comes into force in Europe, is an important step towards offering companies and consumers legal certainty. Blocking Internet content, on the other hand, works against the set goal, as it creates uncertainty in its current form.

“Now that the DDG has already missed the deadline set by the EU, it was important to swiftly implement the DSA requirements in Germany. However, by retaining the principle of blocking of Internet content, the legislator has once again missed the opportunity to send a clear signal,” criticises eco Chair of the Board Oliver SĂŒme.

“The blocking of Internet content is neither a viable nor an efficient means of combatting illegal content on the Internet. Unlike the removal of illegal content at hosting level, blocking Internet content only leads to access being made more difficult – and, as the name suggests, this can be circumvented at any time,” says SĂŒme.

This is countered by the “Notice and Take Down” (NTD) procedure, which has now proven itself as a standard procedure and represents a solid legal basis for law enforcement on the Internet. This means that providers of online services are obliged to remove illegal content as soon as they become aware of it.

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